Today, the Republican-controlled Ohio House of Representatives overrode eleven items Governor John Kasich vetoed in the recently passed state budget, House Bill (HB) 49. Under the House’s overrides, Medicaid expansion would have to be reauthorized through the state Controlling Board and new taxes on working people could be put in place as a condition of healthcare coverage.


“Stopping the GOP’s Medicaid freeze is a testament to the hard work of concerned citizens, Democratic lawmakers and medical professionals,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “Just like in Washington D.C., protests, phone calls, office visits and emails are helping to save lives in Ohio. But other Medicaid freeze loopholes approved today by Republicans will lock people out of Medicaid coverage and threaten the economic stability of families and working people across our state. New restrictions will cost money, lives and good-paying healthcare jobs.”


The House also tried to find a way to keep almost $200 million per-year in local funding for communities intact by instructing the Kasich Administration to seek a federal waiver from the Trump Administration for a revised tax on Medicaid managed care services.


Republican lawmakers potentially added more restrictions to Medicaid healthcare services by trying to house authority for approval of optional services like dental, breast and cervical cancer screenings with the Republican-controlled legislature, a move the Kasich Administration contends is in violation of federal law.


House Republicans didn’t take the possibility of a Medicaid freeze off the table entirely, saying they will wait for Congress to act before making a final decision.


The House also overrode vetoes related to nursing home funding, Medicaid rates neonatal and newborn care, and a provision that has prevented oil and gas exploration in state parks and nature reserves. 

 
 
 
  
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Lawmakers Push Solution To Stabilize 31 Fiscally Distressed Communities Hit Hard By Kasich's Budget Cuts

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.



 
 

Cleveland-area Lawmakers Say Ohio Could "amp Up" Economic Growth Through Music Industry

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”

“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”